I know there can be so much out there about what you need for baby that it can sometimes be difficult to decide what you will really need. Those little baby heartbeat monitors seem super cool and useful but do you really NEED it? (the answer is no). I know even after having two kids, five years was long enough for me to completely forget what was useful, so this is for both new and continuing moms.
Almost all of these things can easily be made at home or found at Target but I did include links if you click on the product name.
Don’t forget that you will need to be taken care of after baby. Some hospitals will provide you with some of these things, others will not, so here is a list of postpartum essentials that you should have ready before you go into labor.
Healing Spray. Even if you didn’t tear you will still want this. The witch hazel and aloe are intensely soothing. Mix 6 tablespoons witch hazel, 3 tablespoons aloe vera, 6 drops Frankincense essential oil, 3 drops Clary Sage essential oil, 4 tablespoons filtered water in a spray bottle.
If you don’t feel like making your own spray or have a bad tear, definitely buy a bottle of Dermoplast
Sitz Bath. This one is really only necessary the first couple of days after birth or if you have a bad tear, and can easily be substituted by a warm tub with this homemade tea infused in it.
These sore bum Witch Hazel Pads are good to put in over top of your pad. Oh did I mention buying pads? Seriously, get the thickest, most ridiculously large pads you can find. Cause there will be blood.
Medline Ice packs are also amazing to put over your pad. It’s icey cold but without all the watery mess of actual ice.
Icy Hot patches. After birth, or after your meds wear off, you will start to feel post birth contractions, which can be just as painful as actual labor. Have a large supply of warming pads to helps reduce the pain.
If you are breastfeeding you will absolutely need Lanolin cream, nipple soothers, breast pads, and nursing bras. Remember, the first week or so of breastfeeding you’ll wonder if your baby is even getting anything but soon your milk will fully come in and you’ll only barely be able to keep up with the fountains spurting from your chest. Buy breast pads. Lots of them.
Many women also like having nursing gowns or robes for the first couple of weeks, or at least to use in the hospital. However, an ordinary robe or nightgown will suffice.
I’ve also heard people rave about belly wraps. I simply used the boba wrap, which carries baby and has the benefit of helping to push your tummy back in. You would think tightly wrapping cloth around your belly would squish things where they shouldn’t be squished but postpartum wraps have actually been shown to have a lot of benefit to helping your uterus return to it’s proper size. So either get a newborn wrap or a belly wrap…or both!
Have I told you about the Boba Wrap? I’m sure I have but I cannot go on about this enough. Kangaroo care is the best.
I don’t have any recommendations about bottles since none of my children really took one, but I do want to remind you that if you are breastfeeding your insurance company is required to provide you with a breast pump. I may be wrong but I think they are covered by Medicaid as well. If you are going to pump, don’t forget about storage bags (although regular ziplock bags will work as well.)
Even after you have baby you will still need to take prenatal vitamins for at least a month postpartum, although you probably should continue with prenatals for three months and then switch to a regular multivitamin as long as you are nursing.
I also HIGHLY recommend having B12 vitamins with you. Almost all new moms will have some bouts of baby blues, and B12 vitamins go a long way to help boosting your mood. Don’t wait until you start to feel upset to buy these, take them every day from the start.
And finally, your pediatrician will likely suggest you give baby iron supplements, so just go ahead and buy them if you’re nursing.
Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now. Be sure to check back in when I manage to compile a list for your newborn. Yes, there is more you can buy!